Several days ago it was reported that the United States National Endowment for Democracy donated at least $1.7 million to various causes in Thailand, raising questions about those encouraging recent anti-government protests, even if legitimate grievances are present. Now, it appears that a prominent pro-protest news outlet in Bangkok has also been receiving such funds.
Prachatai a self proclaimed “independent non-profit” newspaper in Thailand, declared on its website that it received up to three grants of $50,000 each from the National Endowment for Democracy across the past decade, as well as a number of other US based NGOs including the Rockefeller Foundation. The group’s executive director, Chiranuch Premchaiporn is also listed on the National Endowment for Democracy website as a “fellow” of the organization.
In supporting the protests, Prachatai has also sought to amplify the role of Hong Kong protest leader Joshua Wong and the rhetoric of the “Milk Tea Alliance” (who was banned from Thailand in 2016 for interfering in its politics) as well as the campaign to “Save 12 Hong Kong Youths” who were in fact associated with the violent bomb making group “Dragonslayers”. With over 200,000 followers, the social media accounts of the paper have been prominent in shaping the protest narrative